Excitement grew as we motored towards shore to pick up our dads, who were the first visitors to join us aboard Fidelity. We greeted them at the marina with our dinghy and quickly motored off to the anchorage. Wasting no time, we quickly fired up the engine and pushed on to Delray Harbor Club Marina 15 miles south. Our plan was to cross the Gulf Stream the following day to Grand Bahama Yacht Club after provisioning and fueling up.
It had been 20 years since I’d crossed the Gulf Stream with my dad, mom and sister to the Bahamas which back then was done on a 30 foot C&C named Patches. At that time I was only three so it goes without saying that my memory of the whole thing was quite bleak. Needless to say the excitement levels were high aboard Fidelity knowing that we’d be leaving mainland for quite some time and Island hopping through The Bahamas & The Caribbean for the next few months.
The Gulf Stream crossing is approximately 90 miles east which is notorious for rough weather considering the strong current moving north and opposing swell direction coming from the north. Luckily the weather window for us was ideal to traverse east. We sailed through the night taking shifts in father/son watch groups, which was a pleasant change of pace from the solo shifts that Andrew and I had been accustomed to for the past month. With moderate sized seas and decent winds we arrived at the channel entrance to Port Lucaya at 7:30am and were greeted by a beautiful sunrise.
Upon arrival we quickly hoisted our yellow quarantine flag, which is the standard protocol for any boat entering a new country before checking in with customs and immigration. Checking into a country by boat was a new process for me and proved to be quite a loose and seamless way to enter a country. This system was one that we'd become quite familiar with over the next few months.
We spent the next two days relaxing, soaking up the sun and enjoying drinks at Rum Runners, the local watering hole located near Port Lucaya Marina. Rum Runners was a familiar spot for Andrew and I after we had spent a couple weeks visiting my dad on his boat on a spring break back in our University days. The 2 Kalik’s for $5 deal was still in full force and the reggae tunes soothed our souls.
From Port Lucaya, we pushed off south-east to Nassau where we spent a day exploring the island. We ventured across the bridge to The Atlantis, on Paradise Island in hopes of finding a poker table, but were sadly let down by its lack of presence. We spent the rest of the time provisioning and getting the boat prepared to continue the journey through the Exuma's.
Memories of the turquoise waters and views of the surrounding islands and white sand beaches will be forever imprinted in my mind. Sailing through the Exumas was an extremely memorable experience & being able to share this with our dads was something that we'd never forget.
We arrived in Georgetown, close to the south-eastern tip of the Exumas on Dec 9th. It made sense for out dads to disembark Fidelity here as venturing further south would only make their journey back to Canada more challenging. After 11 days with our dads aboard it was time to say goodbye. We spent the final day reflecting on the great trip we had with them and were extremely grateful for their help in getting us further south. We were now left with 13 days to make it 850 miles south east & upwind to Puerto Rico in hopes to greet our next guest. Most considered us foolish to have made such plans but we believed it was possible...
Original Bahama Trip- 1987